Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong


The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong
First published in South Korea by Eun Haeng NaMu as Jongui Giwon in 2016. English language translation by Chi-Young Kim published in the UK by Little, Brown on the 3rd May 2018.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : from £11.78 (HB)
Wordery : from £10.29 (PB)
Waterstones : from £16.99 (HB)
Amazon : from $16.41 / £6.44 (used HB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

YOU WAKE UP COVERED IN BLOOD
THERE'S A BODY DOWNSTAIRS
YOUR MOTHER'S BODY

YOU DIDN'T DO IT. DID YOU?
HOW COULD YOU, YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN THE GOOD SON

THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION FROM KOREA'S MILLION-COPY BESTSELLING AUTHOR YOU-JEONG JEONG.

When Yu-jin wakes up covered in blood, and finds the body of his mother downstairs, he decides to hide the evidence and pursue the killer himself. 

Then young women start disappearing in his South Korean town. Who is he hunting? And why does the answer take him back to his brother and father who lost their lives many years ago.

The Good Son is inspired by a true story. 

I recently spotted Ova's The Good Son review on her blog Excuse My Reading which encouraged me to get to reading my ARC of this book sooner rather than later. It's narrated in the first person by Yu-jin who is a brilliantly unreliable narrator. A chilling character, he fascinated me (much like watching a snake) and loved the uncertainty of never knowing whether what I was discovering was The truth, his truth or whether he was spinning me a tale! The novel isn't particularly fast-paced, but it was always so tense that, for me, it felt like it flew by. I had to keep putting the book aside from time to time to make sure I had absorbed everything that was happening.

The story spirals around key moments for Yu-jin and his family, each revisited with the reader having a little more information to help them gauge the real story. I was convinced I had sussed it out quite early on, but was very wrong. Twice! Thinking back over the story now, I would say potential readers might need to be wary of The Good Son for it's blood level. I'm often squeamish and there were a few scenes here that I slightly skim-read to avoid the strongest imagery. This is a psychological thriller that, for me at least, leant more towards horror than crime fiction. If you don't mind blood splatter though, it's one I would highly recommend.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by You-jeong Jeong / Thrillers / Books from South Korea

12 comments:

  1. Blood level? Yikes, must be very bloody then

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  2. I really love unreliable narrators done well this sounds like a great read, and I've been seeing rave reviews.

    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. I'm hoping The Good Son breaks into the mainstream - it's certainly strong enough to if enough potential readers can get past it being a translation.

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  3. Not really my kind of book but glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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  4. oh no I'm pretty sure I left a comment here! Maybe I didn't hit publish? Sorry if this is a duplicate but I had said that I love unreliable narrators when they are done well! Especially in thrillers. :)

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  5. Intriguing! XD I'm always on the lookout for more Asian authors to give a try :)

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    1. The Good Son is definitely worth a look :-)

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  6. Wow, this sounds amazing. I just wish I wasn't as squeamish :D

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    1. Me too! If I'd known how bloody it would get before starting, I probably wouldn't have chosen to read this one. However I think much of my reaction was from the matter-of-fact way Yu-jin talks about it - as though this is perfectly normal!

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